The Cocktail: Where Things Stand

We’ve gone over all the current ingredients to the arthritis cocktail, now to a bit of discussion on where things stand.

Last Wednesday, I met with the new rheumatologist. According to various surveys, she’s either one of the top 5 or the top rheumatologist in the state. I saw a bit of ego and she clearly doesn’t hold with supplements or with trying to get into clinical trials. Her contention is that the current cutting edge is not going to be able to regenerate the cartilage in my right shoulder.

She could be right. It depends on a host of factors, including if the stem cells, ECM, and other factors can find something to latch onto or otherwise cause them to grow into cartilage. Supplements, as noted in the previous writings, work on at best one third of the population, with a number of them clocking in at less than ten percent — by themselves.

Part of the reason I chose to do a cocktail for my experiment is that while individually the rate of effectiveness bites, one can potentially gain some synergistic effects by using a cocktail. It’s worth a shot.

One thing she doesn’t yet know about me is that to some extent, I don’t care if I get a perfect fix. What I would like to do through my experiment and by possible participation in research or clinical trials is make it more effective for others in the next iteration. I will take whatever relief I can get, but the important thing is advancing that cutting edge for the future.

As of now, I’ve been on the main component of the cocktail for almost six weeks, and the current full cocktail for almost four weeks. To get a fair assessment, it really is going to take three to six months. That said, here’s where things stand.

First, I had blood work done last Friday that shows that, for now, the supplements do not appear to be causing any problems. I wasn’t thrilled with a couple of readings, but they are still well within the proper zone. Remember, if you take supplements you do need to keep your doctor in the loop. Some supplements can and do effect other medications and can have some harmful side-effects. Be smart, do your research, and keep your GP and/or others in the loop.

Second, while it is tentative at this point, I do feel somewhat better, particularly in areas other than the shoulders. My left shoulder feels a bit better than it did, but that area is particularly hard to assess.

Part of the problem in assessing things is that there are a lot of questions right now. One of the first and foremost to my mind is if what I have is simple osteoarthritis. It’s not acting like it, and while past testing said I did not have rheumatoid arthritis, that doesn’t mean I don’t have something similar to osteoarthritis but is a step above. There are some possibilities.

There is also a good chance that something else is at play on top of the osteoarthritis if that is indeed all I have. It could even be more than one thing. Right now, everything from MS on down is on the table. That’s one reason I gave up seven vials of blood last week for testing, along with getting a host of X-rays. To be honest, I fully expect to undergo more tests.

That said, sometime in the next two weeks, I should have results and hopefully some answers to go with the questions. It is likely that we may even have more questions. But, if we can start eliminating possibilities even as we search for some definitive answers, it’s a good start. If we can figure out what (all) is going on, it gives a good place to start to do something about the problem.

Until we do, I am resistant to the idea of joint replacements for all the areas identified by the surgeon and the rheumatologist. On the shoulder, I’ve yet to speak to anyone who has had the operation who would do it again. Would love to hear from anyone with a different view. On the other replacements, as well as the shoulder, I’m concerned that whatever is going on could effect the quality and longevity of the replacement. Yes, if I didn’t mention it before, the rheumatologist has suggested additional replacements are needed beyond my shoulders.

So, are the supplements helping? Tentative yes. Do we know what is going on in my body? No, but I think we are starting to have some good questions and getting data for some answers.

That’s where things stand for now. More soon.